When will hate crimes stop?

There are no words to describe the sadness I feel when hearing the stories of victims of hate and speech crimes. Through time, many laws have been passed to protect marginalized groups and persecute people who commit intended violent acts. Yet, hate and prejudice do not diminish over time.

It raises the question if hate will ever disappear from our country? We cannot deny that racism and bigotry were a huge part of our nation’s history. Slavery was legal at one point, and even after it was abolished, African Americans were not protected from discrimination. I find it chilling to think about how there were no consequences if you committed a hate crime toward someone who is a part of a marginalized group. These acts involved murder and physical torture. It hurts to believe that behavior like this still occurs today.

Recently, an actor on Fox’s series “Empire,” Jussie Smollett, was brutally attacked in Chicago. Reports say he was attacked by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs as they grabbed his neck and poured an unknown substance onto him. He was taken to the hospital soon after; however, police have yet to find the attackers.

It’s sickening to see how hate motivates actions such as this, and it has been motivation for quite some time. Racism did not end after the Civil Rights movement. Homophobia did not end after marriage equality was passed. It’s incidents like these that prove that the hate has not stopped. It proves that people exist in 2019 with the mindset that others are inferior just because they’re different.

Hate crimes are an example of the bigotry that still exists in America today. In order to stop it, America needs to implement a no tolerance law against bigotry. Society also needs to understand that any discrimination is still discrimination. Future generations of racial minorities, the LGBT+ community, and many other groups should not have to worry about their safety when they walk on the streets, wondering if someone is out to get them. Let us leave hatred in the past and move forward with open minds and kindness.